According to the U.S. Census the U.S. is becoming older and more racially and ethnically diverse. Almost half (47 percent) of the nation’s children younger than five were a minority in 2008, with 25 percent being Hispanic. For all children under 18, 44 percent were a minority and 22 percent were Hispanic. Here are more highlights:

  • On July 1 2008 the overall minority population was 104.6 million, or 34 percent of the total population. Minorities, defined as any group other than single-race, non-Hispanic white, increased by 2.3 percent from 2007 to 2008.
  • The largest and fastest-growing minority group was Hispanics, who reached 46.9 million in 2008, up by 3.2 percent from 2007. In 2008, nearly one in six U.S. residents was Hispanic. The Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2012 was 53 million, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. Hispanics constituted 17 percent of the nation’s total population. Read more: Hispanic Americans: Census Facts |
  • The Census Bureau estimates the number of Asians at 15.5 million in 2008. Asians were the second fastest-growing minority group from 2007 to 2008, increasing by 2.7 percent.
  • Following Asians in growth were Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (increasing 2.4 percent to 1.1 million), American Indians and Alaska Natives (increasing 1.7 percent to 4.9 million) and blacks or African-Americans (increasing 1.3 percent to 41.1 million). The population of non-Hispanic whites who indicated no other race increased by 0.2 percent to 199.5 million.
  • There were 5.2 million people who were of two or more races in 2008, up 3.4 percent from 2007.
  • The U.S. population is not only becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, it is also growing older: the median age reached 36.8 in 2008, up 1.5 years since 2000. There were 38.9 million people 65 and older in 2008, comprising 12.8 percent of the total population. Of this group, 5.7 million were 85 years old and older. In 2000, 12.4 percent of the total population was 65 and older.
  • As the population ages, there are relatively more women than men. For those under age 18, 51.2 percent are male, but the percentage declines to 42.4 percent for the population age 65 and older and to just 32.6 percent for the population 85 and older. Women represent 50.7 percent of the total population.